Sure, I’m as likely as the next guy to swing by the Krispy Kreme and pick up a donut or twelve and the requisite coffee infusion for breakfast. The lure cannot be denied, but unless I’m rushing out the door, much healthier choices are at hand to start the day right. And they can be found right in my own backyard.
Starting on the stove and making its way into the oven, a frittata is similar to quiche, but without the crust. Quick and elegant, it is an easy choice for lazy Sunday mornings or for when you are hosting an impromptu brunch. With plenty of eggs on hand, thanks to the small army of chickens living in my backyard, frittatas are a common “go-to” at my place, especially when the garden provides so many good fillings. Meats and cheeses are welcome, but with so much good produce at hand, I let the eggs provide the protein and toss in whatever vegetables are in season.
Still not enough to shake the call of that sweet donut? Perhaps a little squash is in order. I know, yellow squash doesn’t sound like the standard alternative, but squash (and carrots) are shockingly good in muffin form. Combined with whole wheat flour and allowing fresh applesauce to stand in for butter, the results are sweet, incredibly moist and positively loaded with fiber and nutritional value. OK, so we also snuck a wee bit of brown sugar in there, but it is a muffin, after all.
Toss in a handful of freshly picked strawberries and we have a breakfast that isn’t just pretty and delicious, it’s— gasp—actually good for you!
I may be leaving the donuts behind, but I’ll still be having coffee. At least until I can figure out how to grow caffeinated broccoli.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups garden vegetables (spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, etc.)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, chives, or parsley), chopped
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
In an 8” cast iron or oven-safe skillet, saute vegetables and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until they begin to soften (5 minutes). If including tomatoes, hold until next step.
Stir in herbs (and tomatoes, if using).
Whisk eggs, salt, pepper and Parmesan together and add to skillet.
Stir and allow to cook about 5 minutes until eggs begin to set.
Transfer skillet to oven set to broil and cook 4 minutes until fluffy and beginning to brown.
Hearty Breakfast Muffins
- 1 cup yellow squash, grated
- 1/2 cup carrots, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons cinnamon
In a mixer or large bowl, stir well squash, carrots, eggs, oil, orange juice, applesauce, brown sugar and raisins.
Stir together baking powder, wheat flour, flour, salt and cinnamon.
Stir dry mix into wet mix to combine.
Spoon batter into muffin tins prepared with non-stick spray.
Bake in a 375 degree oven 25-28 minutes until brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to rest 10 minutes before removing from tins.